Former Spurs manager Tim Sherwood has praised the “audacity” of Marcelo Bielsa to tackle the Spygate controversy head-on.
Bielsa, 63, held an impromptu press conference on Wednesday evening where he revealed that Leeds have “observed” every Championship rival this season.
What was said in the press briefing? Five key things to know…
- Bielsa was embroiled in controversy last week after admitting to sending a member of his staff to spy on Derby ahead of their 2-0 win on Friday.
- The incident has been referred to as ‘Spygate’ and divided opinion among the football community.
- The EFL are investigating the incident and Leeds owner, Andrea Radrizzani, has publicly apologised.
- Bielsa called the press briefing yesterday evening at Leeds’s training centre where he held an hour-long Powerpoint presentation.
- The Argentine revealed his training methods, which included spending around 300 hours of analysis this season.
Bielsa admitted that he held the sudden press conference to “make it easy” for the EFL to investigate his conduct after he was heavily criticised for instructing a member of his staff to watch Derby County train.
Discussing his antics, Tim Sherwood – speaking on Sky Sports’ The Debate – revealed his admiration for the Argentine’s honesty and mental fortitude.
“He does not care what anyone thinks about him – I admire that,” he said.
“He feels like he’s done nothing wrong. He assembled the press and disarmed them straight away.
“He answered all the questions before they had a chance to ask any. In his mind, he’s not broken any rules although the FA may disagree. Then if he has then they will punish him. But the audacity to come out and do this is top draw.”
The EFL opened a formal investigation this week and could sanction the club with punishments ranging from a fine to a points deduction, but Sherwood believes the press briefing will work in Bielsa’s favour.
He added: “He’s trying to speed up the investigation.
“There’s nothing they can dig around and find because he’s just put it all on the table for them.
“He’s said, ‘there it is. Now what are you going to do about it?’ He just wants to get it over and done with so he can get on with the rest of the season and try to get Leeds to the Premier League.”
Lampard: presentation “incredible”
Following the incident last week, Derby manager Frank Lampard hit out at Bielsa for disrupting his side’s preparations for the Friday night clash at Elland Road, which saw the Rams defeated 2-0 in convincing fashion.
Speaking after his side’s victory against Southampton in the FA Cup, Lampard described Bielsa’s presentation as “incredible” but revealed his matchday preparations are not unordinary in football management.
“I was surprised definitely, it was incredible,” said Lampard (via Sky Sports).
Asked if Bielsa gave the impression he knew more about Derby, Lampard said: “He gave an impression. I haven’t seen Pep Guardiola give that impression, Jurgen Klopp give that, Mauricio Pochettino give that. They do it behind closed doors definitely, but they don’t do it to the public.
“Yeah [everyone does research] it’s really simple. It’s probably a nice eye-opener for the fan to see it because most of this stuff happens behind closed doors.
“But they are done everywhere, there’s no amazement from anyone who works in football.
“It is what it is now, we all know what’s been happening across the board. It’s certainly a league issue now because it is our league it’s every team. So it’s up to them to decide what goes from now.”